Picking a Twitter client means looking at space savings, oversight
Jan 31, 2010, 16:00 GMT
Munich - Twittering, tweeting to some, is about more than just sending 140-character text messages through the internet. That's plain to see by a simple look at the various clients vying for the right to make your access to Twitter easier.
These small programmes come with many functions and are geared to meet various demands - some people want better coverage, others want ease in reading. Ultimately, the decision usually rest upon whether the Twitter follower accesses the internet from a PC at home or on the go with a mobile phone or smartphone.
Clients do more than just reproduce Twitter's web interface. They help save time and clicks, says Nicole Simon, a social media expert and author of a German blog about the Twitter phenomenon.
'And they help you to see everything with one glance: new Tweets, answers and results of specific searches.' As a bonus, they let people post comments simultaneously on other sites like Facebook or Myspace.
Nonetheless, the original Twitter interface remains the favourite, says Manuel Schreiber of Chip, a German computer magazine. But TweetDeck is another widely used tool. 'Twitterfeed, which allows a user to publish his comments on Facebook as well, is the most favoured client.'
Clients are geared mostly toward PCs. A practical option for an ambitious user is a trimmed-down client like Twhirl, says Sven Wiesner, a social media advisor who also runs a German blog on tweeting. Twhirl sits on a person's desktop, just like an instant messenger programme.
Twhirl includes the functions of any good Twitter client, says Wiesner. Packed with standard functions like uploading photos, picking favourite Tweets and functions like Reply, Retweet or Direct Message at the push of a button, Twhirl also offers a selection of URL shortcuts. It's also a good idea to opt for customizable notification for incoming replies and direct messages.
Twitter users can also download add-ons like Twitterfox, a sleek tool designed for Firefox use on netbooks and notebooks. The point here is to provide good oversight. Thus, functions like Listen, Direct Messages and Mentions are all easy to see.
'The size of the client is also important. Some tools take up a whole screen, others make do with simple notification windows.'
Some people have multiple Twitter accounts, to separate their private from their personal lives. Tweetdeck and Seesmic Desktop are for those people, says Wiesner. 'Both clients work independently of the operating system and are real jack-of-all-trades when it comes to lots of Twittering.' However, both take up the whole desktop.
Mobile tweeters put a lot of value in an easy-to-understand interface. And, since different mobile phone models have different size screens, there are clients that are better and less suited for every mobile out there, says Wiesner.
'While Android smartphones and the iPhones have big, comfortable touchscreens, making them ideal for Twitdroid and Tweetie, other people with more classic mobiles and Blackberries have a choice of other clients.' Thus, it all comes down to personal taste.
Most people want to see everything at a glance or be able to write replies quickly, says Simon. Others want to be able to send Tweets with a time delay or set up groups on their PC, which they can then access while underway.